(Hong Kong — Jan.7, 2021) On January 06, at 6 am (Beijing time), the eve of the U.S. presidential election’s final confirmation, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) authorities launched numerous raids; arresting at least 52 people, including Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong, Tam Tak-chi, another activist, and John Clancey, an American human rights lawyer. To date, these raids depict the largest crackdowns on dissidents in Hong Kong. The majority of those the police arrested had participated in the 2020 Hong Kong Legislative Council democratic primaries. Officials accused them of violating the National Security Law (NSL) and for the crime of subverting state power.
As police escorted Lawyer John Clancey from his workplace, he called out to people watching, “We need to work for democracy and human rights in Hong Kong.”
Authorities released Attorney Clancey and most of the other detainees overnight on bail without charges.
The UN Human Rights Office and independent UN human rights experts have repeatedly warned that offences such as subversion under the National Security Law, passed in June 2020, are vague and overly broad, facilitating abusive or arbitrary implementation….Yesterday’s arrests were the latest in a series of detentions related to the exercise of fundamental freedoms, including the right to peaceful assembly, in Hong Kong.
The government of the special administrative region said the police took action “specifically targeting active players who organized, planned, committed or participated in acts of subversion.”“These persons are suspected to have violated the offence of subversion under the National Security Law,” it said in a statement.
The UN official spokesperson said that the CCP’s latest arrests demonstrate that “the offense of subversion under the National Security Law is indeed being used to detain individuals for exercising legitimate rights….” Those rights include that Hong Kongers have the right to peacefully assemble, and participate in political and public life.
Sunny Cheung, an exile who contested in the pro-democracy primaries, considers this mass arrest to reveal the Hong Kong government’s desire to eradicate the pro-democracy supporters. Mr. Cheung posed the question: Since more than 600,000 Hong Kong populace participated in the pro-democracy primaries, does this mean that the Hong Kong government will prosecute more than 600,000 Hong Kongers for violating the National Security Law?
At this moment, how China may “convince” the millions of disapproving Hong Kongers to relinquish their control to the CCP remains unclear. As authorities resort to raids like this most recent one, however, arresting, and imprisoning those who oppose them, China confirms that even though their constitution proclaims “yes,” citizens have the freedom to publicly reflect their opinions, their actions declare, “no.”
ChinaAid Media Team
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